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Monday, January 09, 2012

Cambodia's ailing former king changes mind about burial and requests cremation

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia - Cambodia's ailing former king Norodom Sihanouk has changed his mind and asked that he be cremated after he dies.

The 89-year-old Sihanouk revised an earlier request for a burial, saying he would now prefer to be cremated. The message was posted on his website Saturday.

He asked that his ashes be put in an urn, preferably made of gold, and placed in a stupa at the Royal Palace.

Former aide Sisowath Thomico said Sihanouk wanted to follow the Cambodian and Buddhist tradition of cremation.

Sihanouk has suffered from colon cancer, diabetes and hypertension.

He was a dominant figure in Cambodian politics for six decades but abdicated in 2004, citing poor health, and was succeeded by a son, Norodom Sihamoni.

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